Walcott , Dabydeen, and Jagdeo Agreement for Caribbean Publishing House
As publishing opportunities for Caribbean writers continue to shrink with Heinemann and Macmillan closing their Caribbean series (Peepal Tree Press being the lone standout in this area), Derek Walcott, David Dabydeen, and Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo have agreed to pursue the development of a Caribbean publishing house located in Guyana.
The encounter at the symposia, the issues raised there and the dialogue that followed prompted President Jagdeo to commit his government to another major investment in his decision to put some $20 million into the development of a Caribbean publishing house located in Guyana. Details of how this is to work were agreed on by Jagdeo, Dabydeen and Walcott. Dabydeen in the Opening Symposium had revealed that there is a decline in the publishing opportunities provided for West Indian writers by the leading houses in the UK. Both Heinemann and Macmillan have closed their Caribbean series, the Macmillan-Warwick series is coming to an end and most of the other large houses focus on sales and the promise of sales. This new publisher will help to fill a huge vacancy in the opportunities for Guyanese and West Indian authors.
By now the news about the failure of the campaign to
secure a presidential pardon for the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey has been
published in both print and social media and many individuals have begun
offering post-mortems. As someone who for the past decade has been actively
involved in the struggle to clear Garvey’s name, allow me to offer my
own critique. I can think of four reasons why the petition did not achieve
the desired goal: ·Lack of a digital strategy·The failure of the organizers to engage
grassroots organizations·Too much, too little, too late from the “big
name” celebrities to endorse the campaign·A zero sum strategy on the part of some
Garveyites. While the first three could have been avoided, it is the
fourth that I found the most disappointing. The Garveyites who pursued the all or nothing strategy
argued from a Manichean view of politics and Garvey’s legacy. According to them, Garvey would have had nothing to do
with any system that vilified him, or they brought up the “str…